See the previous post for recipe.

Anytime I make pizza with fresh tomatoes, I always purge the tomatoes.

Tomatoes are succulent fruits, but they are full of water. And water makes yummy pizza crusts soggy.

Get rid of the water in tomatoes by thinly slicing them and sprinkling them with flaky, subtle Kosher salt.

The salt will pull out most of the moisture and flavor the pizza at the same time.

Not entirely sure what tonight’s pizza will consist of, but I’m thinking: (starting from the crust up)

  1. Parmesan cheese
  2. Sliced, purged tomatoes
  3. Nice “glugging” of olive oil
  4. Chopped garlic (to taste)
  5. Nice cracking of black pepper
  6. A few handfuls of shredded Mozzarella

I’d finish it with fresh basil, and I may even crack an egg in the middle and put it under the broiler for a few minutes right at the end.

Pa-Pa-Pa-Panzanella

August 6, 2007

I have a confession to make. The first time Bridget made this dish, I hated it. I even dubbed it, “soggy bread salad.”

Sorry, Bridge.

She totally redeemed herself with this round of Panzanella.

We had a staling loaf of olive bread sitting in the kitchen. We’re in an oober-frugal mode lately, so we needed a way to recycle this bread and save it from the bin.

Panzanella is perfect for day-old (week old) bread. We cube it and toss it with diced tomatoes, white onion, black olives, Ricotta Salatta, parsley, rosemary and mint.

Finally, we pour over a tangy vinegaretteĀ  of red wine vinegar (3 tblsp.) and olive oil (1/3 cup).

This Panzanella just gets better the longer it sits. Everything soaks up the dressing.

Very summer. Very fresh. Very yummy.

After Bridget’s first bite of this dish, her eyes rolled back in her head and she said, “It tastes like summer in my mouth.”

She was exactly right.

This is Mac & Cheese’s sophisticated cousin, and it’s dead simple to make.

A tblsp. of olive oil in a cold pan, crank up the heat to medium-high and cook 2 minced garlic cloves for about 60 seconds (over cooked garlic gets bitter).

Next add the zest of 2 lemons, the juice of 2 lemons (I strained out the pulp), 2 cups heavy cream, 2 tsp. Kosher salt and 1 tsp. black pepper. Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. It will (should) thicken.

Boil your pasta (we used Fusilli, 1 lb.), and prep your veggies while it cooks.

I sliced a pint of grape tomatoes and cut a lemon into cubes. I also gather about 2 handfuls of baby arugula.

Drain the pasta and add it to a big bowl. Pour over the cream sauce, and toss together the toms, arugula, lemons chunks, and some Parmesan cheese to taste.

This will put a smile on your face…a bright, sun-shiny smile. šŸ™‚

Spaghetti Something

July 27, 2007

Spaghetti Something isn’t a set recipe; it’s a dish you can just throw together with whatever you have in the house. This is a take on a recipe By Giada that we call in our house, “Spaghetti Giada.”

I pour a couple tblsp. of olive oil in a cold pan and start to heat over medium high heat. I chop and onion and add it to the pan. Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes.

When the onions go transparent, I add a good tblsp. of tomato paste and 2 cans of diced tomatoes. Wilt in some spinach (we used Chard tonight).

Finally, toss in the noodles and dollop fresh goat cheese on the top. S&P to taste.

Vine Ripe & Roasted

July 2, 2007

Roasted tomato soup is something I make a lot in the cooler months, but I have tons of tomatoes coming out of the garden, and there’s only so much sauce and so many sandwiches I can take. So soup it is. I also always use plum tomatoes in this recipe, but this time I used not-plums (and some were even still a little green).

I quarter the quasi-ruby beauties and spread them on a sheet pan. I pour over 1/4 cup olive oil (plus 2 tblsps.), 2 tblsps. Kosher salt and a nice cracking of pepper. Toss the toms to get them well-coated and slide them into a 400 degree oven (place the rack in the upper part of the oven for good charring) for 45 minutes.

Near the end of the roasting time, saute 2 chopped onions and 6 cloves of garlic in 2 tblsps. of unsalted butter, an equal amount of olive oil and a nice sprinkling of red pepper flakes.

I usually just soften the onions, but this time I took them way further and got a nice, caramelly color on them. (Note: if you’re going to cook the onions longer, wait to add garlic so it doesn’t burn and bitter up on you)

When the onions are where you want them, add a 28oz can to crushed tomatoes, 1 quart low sodium chicken stock (not broth), 1 tsp. fresh thyme, 4 cups of fresh, whole basil leaves and the roasted toms with their juices. Bring it to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 40 minutes.

Serve it chunky, or blitz it with a hand-held food mill. The next day it’s always better. This will be lunch for the week. Make it a meal by serving it with Aged English Cheddar sandwiches on really good bread.

Summer’s First Blush

June 24, 2007

We’re fighting the birds for our vine-ripe tomatoes. We have tons of plump, firm green tomatoes weighing down our plants, but the cages that are supporting them make perfect perches for our fine feathered friends.

We’re going to try 2 things:

  1. Pick the fruit while it’s green and let them ripen on the window sill.
  2. Buy an owl statue to frighten the birds away.

Until then, enjoy our first 2 tomatoes of the summer. Can’t wait for my first summer tomato sandwich (on the Calamata olive bread). bk